Nearly half of adults lacked preventive health services before 2010

Nearly half of U.S. adults did not receive preventive services, such as screenings, consultations and prescriptions, from health care professionals prior to 2010, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study also finds that among respondents with heart disease that mostly impacts blood vessels, only 47 percent were prescribed the recommended daily use of aspirin during physician visits. However, under the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, an adult 18 years old and older with high blood pressure should receive a clinical treatment plan including medications and monthly follow-up visits until blood pressure improves, but only 44 percent of respondents with high blood pressure had it under control.

Although there is evidence that suggests screening and treating for high cholesterol lessens sickness and death because of heart disease, approximately 33.4 percent of men and 25.6 percent of women were not screened over the preceding 5 years. Among the respondents with high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, only 32 percent of men and 32 percent of women were in control.

"Clinical preventive services prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer and other diseases and save lives," says CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "This report provides a snapshot of preventive services for U.S. adults before 2010. As we look to the future, we can track how our nation's health is progressing through better prevention in health care."

Moving forward, the data could differ because of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement for new private health insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services with no cost-sharing and coverage for a new annual wellness visit under Medicare. 


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